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Tunisia: Celebration of National Handicrafts and Traditional Costume Day

Tunisia celebrated, on March 16, National Handicrafts and Traditional Costume Day.

On this occasion, President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali focused attention on the handicrafts sector and prospects for its development, when receiving, on Tuesday, Trade and Handicrafts Minister Ridha Ben Mosbah.

The Head of State enquired about the development experienced by handicrafts in matters of creativity and innovation, emphasising the need to enhance the guidance of enterprises operating in this sector, boost their competitiveness and further optimise marketing activities within and outside the country.

President Ben Ali also took interest in the situation of artisans, enquiring about the progress of implementation of the national handicrafts promotion strategy by 2016.

In this regard, the President of the Republic stressed the importance of training and apprenticeship in the preservation of the specificities of national handicrafts, its modernisation and the achievement of the sector’s goals in terms of employment and exports.

For his part, Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi inaugurated, on Friday at El Kram Exhibitions Centre, the 27th Handicrafts Creation Fair.

The fair provides the opportunity to showcase the sector’s wealth and diversity in Tunisia and encourage craftsmen to further innovate and improve its marketing.

Several handicrafts items are displayed, including wood, plant fibres, clothes, jewels, glassware, leather and footwear, clay and stone carving. The prime minister visited the different stands of the fair which covers 250,000 square meters, 9,000 square meters of which are dedicated to the commercial space which houses more than 600 exhibitors, with an innovation rate estimated at 40%.

A free stand was fitted out for 50 junior promoters from the country’s different governorates to help them display their products and conquer new markets, in line with the Head of State’s decision to proclaim 2010 International Youth Year.
At the space of creation, different products were on display as part of the sectoral contests gathering several specialties, that of the best packaging of handicraft product and the contest of innovation for students. The present edition will be marked by the presentation of creations of several craftsmen who distinguished themselves at different national and international events in this area.

The space of “Fiftieth Anniversary of the Handicraft National Board » highlighted the major achievements of ONA since its creation in 1959. The stand showed Office’s new publications titled “Craftsman’s Book.” The latter gathers all handicraft specialties and aims to reflect the cultural heritage of all regions of the country.

The fair also includes the stand of service supplies and support structures, which aims to make better known services offered in matters of technical assistance, marketing, development of skills and investment,  the associations’ stand with several items made by several associations and organizations, including Basma Association for the Promotion of Employment for the Disabled, the Tunisian Mothers Association (ATM) and the National Union of Tunisian Women (UNFT). Several events were held on the sidelines of this handicrafts event, including two seminars, respectively on “design and innovation in the area of handicrafts” and “innovation pact in handicrafts.”

Several representatives of the handcrafts and tourism sector from Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Mauritania, France, Italy and Spain are taking part in this exhibition.

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